Mary demonstrating for Caran d'Ache


About Your Tutor

Mary Herbert has painted pastel animal portraits on commission for over twenty-five years and exhibits around the UK. A big believer that skills develop through having a mind open to learning and practice far more than inborn ‘talent’, Mary bases her courses around activities that are designed to stimulate inspiration and creativity as well as pass on useful techniques.

Mary’s paintings approach realism whilst conveying a sense of life and character, which can often be missing in photographs and ‘straight copies’.  She is fascinated by light and texture, which can be so wonderfully expressed with the medium of pastel.  Her love for, and knowledge of animals makes them an obvious choice for subject matter.  Living in beautiful rural Ceredigion, West Wales, Mary’s family includes a horse, a mule, two donkeys and three dogs, all of whom are ready to serve as models for the courses.

When not in her studio, Mary demonstrates pastels at art festivals and clubs, writes practical articles about her technique for The artist magazine, and continues to study and improve her own skills.  She is a qualified teacher (City & Guilds 730 1&2) and taught photography for seven years at Leicester College prior to devoting her working life to painting full time.  She has published some ‘work in progress’ time-lapse videos to YouTube under the username PortraUK and they have proved very popular, gaining over one and a half million hits on her most-viewed film.  After being asked many times over the years to give tuition, now she has the ‘teaching bug’ and is very keen to share what she knows.

Please note that, aside from offering email critiques of your work, Mary only teaches in person and regrets that due to the disadvantages of remote tutoring she has no plans to offer web/skype or correspondence lessons.


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